PROVERB PRACTICALS   Are You Rich Toward God? Proverbs 10:14,15, Audio

 

Proverbs 10:14,15,  Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction. The rich manís wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

This word couplet, "lay up" is used 9 times in the King James Version of the Bible.

Jacobís son Joseph was told in a dream of the coming of famine in the land of Egypt and because of this he told the Pharaoh to lay up corn in the good years so as to have corn during the famine years.

Moses told the children of Israel that God provided manna for them each day but that the manna that was gathered on the sixth day, they were to lay up for use on the Sabbath for there was to be no manna given by God on the Sabbath.

God, in the giving of the commandments told the children of Israel to lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.

So this couplet tells us of that which is to be hoarded for another day.

It tells us that there ought to be a store kept where the goods of that store will provide for a need that is to come in the future.

In the case of our proverb wise men are to lay up knowledge.

Wise men are to have a bank of knowledge from which they can withdraw when the need arises.

Now in order to withdraw from a bank it is necessary to make deposits from time to time.

It means nothing, regardless of what some people think, to have a check book full of blank checks.

It is what is behind those checks that counts.

It is what has been deposited in that checking account that matters.

In the same way having a Bible in your hands or on the coffee table at your house means nothing, for that which truly means something is how much of the Bible has been deposited in your heart.

How much of Godís word has been laid up in your heart?

A wise manís heart, a wise womanís heart is a storehouse that contains the treasure of knowledge, the treasure of Godís word.

It is deposited in the storehouse by:

bulletthe reading and studying of the Bible,
bulletby meditating on the Word,
bulletby faithfully attending church and Sunday school with ears open to the message, that entry into the heart takes place
bulletit is by conversation with believers,
bulletit is by observing Godís creation,
bulletit is by singing and understanding hymns,
bulletit is by prayer,
bulletand by faith in Christ who is wisdom personified.

It is not a locked storehouse but a storehouse with an open door so as to withdraw knowledge for the benefit of not only the wise man or woman but for the benefit of others.

It is not a bank deposit that is so deep in the vault that it can not be quickly withdrawn but it is like cash in your wallet or your purse that provides for the need at a momentís notice.

We have all said at times, "I wish I would have said that."

But why wasnít it said?

Perhaps heart deposits have been neglected and what is in the heart is so hidden as to be useless.

We can not live on past victories for the heart needs fresh deposits of Godís word every day and therefore we are not to forsake daily Bible study, meditation, prayer or the assembling of ourselves together.

What would we think of a bakery that made bread only once a week.

Fresh bread once a week and stale bread the rest of the week.

Do we not like fresh bread baked every day?

Or are we satisfied with stale bread?

We eat fresh bread on Sunday morning, Sunday evening and Wednesday evening but what about Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday?

Are we satisfied to dine on the memory of our Pastorsí sermons.

But wise men lay up knowledge every day.

Wisdom is to be thought of as a lifetime account in which deposits are made on a regular basis.

You do not know where or when a withdrawal will be necessary.

You do not know what words are required to meet a particular need.

Jesus told the Pharisees in Matthew 12:35, A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things:

Good things are those things that fit a particular need.

Just the other day I met an 84 year old man who was having radiation treatments and in the short time that we were together in the waiting room, after asking him if he was a believer, he told me that he was an agnostic.

He, I thought said in a sincere manner, he just didnít know.

Isnít it a shame to reach the age of 84 and still not know?

In the short time I had to converse I told him he needed above all else to know Christ and I urged him to read the book of John.

But the next day when he and I passed each other, he exiting treatment and I entering treatment, I handed him a business card where I wrote on the reverse side the verse from Christ that invites anyone to ask and it shall be given, to seek and ye shall find, to knock and it shall be opened unto you.

It was only a brief message but perhaps it would encourage him to want to know and how to know.

No one has to be an agnostic for Christ says ask and it shall be given, seek and it shall be found, knock and it shall be opened unto you.

I trust it was a word fitly spoken which proverbs tells us is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.

That word came from the good treasure of my heart that has been deposited there though the years ready to be withdrawn by God for this particular man at this particular time.

God presented this opportunity for someone to come along and show care for this manís soul.

Now the last part of Proverbs 10:14 provides the contrast between what comes from the wise in comparison with what comes from the foolish.

Wise men lay up knowledge: but the mouth of the foolish is near destruction.

When we studied verses 6 and 11 in this chapter we learned that violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.

The mouth of the foolish and the mouth of the wicked are closely associated with destruction, which is the tearing down.

But the mouth of the wise is closely associated with the building up, the edifying of oneself and others.

With regard to women Proverbs 14:1 provides the same message,   Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands.

The wise build up, but the foolish tear down.

Building up takes much time, but tearing down can take place in an instant.

The wise lay up, but the foolish lay out that which comes from their mouth to further their own advantage at the expense of others.

Remember the story of David, Nabal and Nabalís wife, Abigail.

Nabalís mouth was the mouth of the foolish and it was near destruction as he refused to provide bread and water to David and his men who had provided protection for Nabalís shearers

I Samuel 25:10-11,  And Nabal answered Davidís servants, and said, Who is David? and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants now a days that break away every man from his master. 11Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?

But not only Nabalís mouth was foolish but David forgot that vengeance is the Lordís and hurried to carry out his destruction upon Nabal.

The hero of this story is Abigail who interceded upon the behalf of not only her husband Nabal, but also David for she kept him from carrying out a foolish act.

Abigail was a wise woman for she intended to build her house.

I Samuel 25:32,33,  And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the LORD God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:  And blessed be thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.

Nabalís mouth was near destruction, as was Davidís mouth.

Nabal was beyond repentance and the Lord took him but Davidís mouth turned to wisdom as he saw what God had done for him instead of what he had planned to do for himself.

Verse 39:  Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head.

The mouth of the foolish is near destruction of his or her own making for the words of the mouth are meant to destroy.

But God has destruction in front of the foolish for he tells us in:

Psalm 12:3-4,  The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things: Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?

Such arrogance comes from the mouth of the foolish and has built within such words, the destruction of the foolish.

Now continuing on to our next proverb: Proverbs 10:15,  The rich manís wealth is his strong city: the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

God in this proverb continues the theme of destruction for both the rich and the poor, for they, when living lives without God come to the same end, an end marked by destruction.

God is not a respecter of persons whether rich or poor for hell will be heavily populated by both.

We are told that the rich manís wealth is his strong city.

Note that this does not say that wealth in itself is a strong city but it says that wealth is this manís strong city.

This means that the rich man finds comfort in his wealth as if it were a haven to which he can always flee when trouble comes.

His wealth provides walls and moats and security systems which protect him from a multitude of evils.

The rich man finds that his wealth defends him against destruction that would ordinarily come to a poor man.

He is not subject to those troubles that follow those of lessor means for his wealth buys him protection from difficulties and trials.

Ecclesiastics. 7:12 tells us:  For wisdom is a defence, and money is a defence:

But it also tells us what is excellent and it is not money.

but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom giveth life to them that have it.

Which means that money does not give life.

But the rich man thinks it does for with his money he can buy influence and even respect.

But his money cannot redeem his brother nor satisfy God for himself.

For Psalms 49:6-7 tells us:  They that trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches; None of them can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him:

And leaving the man who trusts in his wealth we are given to spend some time with the poor man who certainly has no wealth to trust in and therefore you would think has advantage insofar as trusting God.

But this is not so for those of this world without wealth strive to gain wealth and also have their own strong city.

Is not this the American way?

So our proverb tells us of the plight of the poor for the destruction of the poor is their poverty.

Again, as with the rich man, we are faced with destruction.

The rich man destroys himself by his wealth but the poor man destroys himself by his poverty.

Rich men think their wealth is their strong city.

Poor men want that wealth and strive for it, being discontented with their lot.

In their striving much evil is done, much pain is suffered for they too think that wealth will satisfy and meet all of their needs.

Those in poverty often make themselves as wretched and vile, in their striving, as the rich do who trust in their wealth as their strong city.

Both riches and poverty result in the same thing.

So both rich and poor need Jesus Christ for he alone can satisfy.

In our country we have the so called poverty line which is determined by income level.

We as a country wish all to rise above the poverty line toward the wealthy line.

I remember President Johnsonís war on poverty.

President Johnson is long gone but the war goes on does it not?

But the world thinks all will be fixed if we abolish poverty but God makes the rich and the poor.

Jesus said the poor ye shall always have with you.

The lesson we are to learn is that being poor or rich is not what is important.

What is important is: Are you rich toward God?